Beauty Product Reviews Sales & Steals Skincare Summer 2020

Splurge vs Save: The Best Drunk Elephant Skincare Dupes

Affordable dupes for expensive luxury skincare brand Drunk Elephant

We’ve all been there. Browsing Sephora, Ulta or Amazon online and trying to figure out which moisturizer or anti-aging serum we should buy.

After lots of comparisons, we’ve narrowed it down to two choices: Option A is expensive, we’ve heard of the brand before and we’ve seen influencers posting about it on social media / Option B is cheaper, has some really great reviews, but we’ve never heard of it and the packaging isn’t as flashy as the more expensive brands.

So which one do we choose?

Man, that’s tough. Splurge on an expensive tried-and-true social media fav that’s getting raved about everywhere or save a few bucks and go out on a limb by trusting buyer reviews for a brand we’ve never heard of?

I’ve done both. And I’m sure you have too. Sometimes it’s worth it to splurge, while other times the cheaper option is just as good as (if not better than) the more expensive one.

Keep reading as I explore three Drunk Elephant skincare products and some low-cost dupes worth trying.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. You can read more about my use of affiliate links here.

Used any of these products? Compared any of these products on your own? Have some insight on dupes I haven’t listed below? Let me know in the comments!

If you like:

Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum ($134)

Then try:

IMAGE Skincare Ageless Total Anti-Aging Serum ($72)

While not a 100% match, there are enough similarities to question the $62 price difference. Both products utilize an AHA-blend of glycolic, lactic and citric acids to exfoliate skin, diminish fine lines and even out skin tone. While IMAGE’s serum has added resveratrol to brighten skin and minimize the look of redness, Drunk Elephant adds salicylic acid, a BHA, to unclog pores while soothing skin. Both of these products are paraben-free and contain no synthetic fragrances.

Drunk Elephant describes their night serum as: “An AHA/BHA night serum that resurfaces congested skin by lifting away dead skin cells to improve skin tone, texture, fine lines, wrinkles, and pores.”

IMAGE says, “This concentrated corrective and protective serum is rich in plant-derived stem cells, phytonutrients and vitamin C to counteract the visible effects of aging while helping skin fight back against future damage. To protect skin tomorrow: Proprietary stem cell technology protects and nourishes skin. To transform skin today: A comprehensive blend of alpha hydroxy acids erases dull skin and smoothes fine lines for a visibly brighter, more even-toned complexion.”

Other dupes:

If you like:

Drunk Elephant Protini™ Polypeptide Moisturizer ($68)

Then try:

ACURE Radically Rejuvenating Whipped Night Cream ($19.99)

These two moisturizers have a similar poly-peptide blend to boost collagen and reduce fine lines, however Drunk Elephant’s Protini™ has the added benefit of Vitamin E which Acure’s version doesn’t have.

Drunk Elephant says their moisturizer is: “A protein moisturizer that combines signal peptides, growth factors, amino acids, and pygmy waterlily to improve the look of skin’s tone, texture, and firmness.”

ACURE describes their night cream as a: “Lightweight whipped superfood cream with multi-peptides, vitamin C, ferulic acid, glacial glycoproteins to soothe and hydrate.”

From a customer review on Target.com: “I bought this as a dupe for Drunk Elephant’s protini moisturizer that is ridiculously overpriced, but a savior for my skin. I really love the Acure version! It is a little thicker, but I add a few drops of Bliss hydration salvation and it makes it that much better. No acne or increased oil from this combo, just smooth happy skin! I use this AM & PM.”

Other dupes:

If you like:

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Antioxidant Face Oil ($72)

Then try:

The Ordinary 100% Cold Pressed Marula Oil ($9.90)

Marula oil is high in antioxidants, essential fatty acids and amino acids. It’s mainly composed of oleic acid and linoleic acid, but also contains procyanidin, catechins and flavanoids. It’s used as an ingredient in many skincare products, promising to hydrate skin and restore radiant skin, and is good for oily, acne-prone, dry and aging skin. Marula oil is also good for dry, frizzy or brittle hair, providing hydration without making hair overly greasy.

Drunk Elephant describes their product as: “A facial oil rich in critical antioxidants and omega 6 and 9, Virgin Marula Antioxidant Oil Face Oil moisturizes, nurtures, and balances while restoring a youthful glow.”

The Ordinary says: “Referred to as a “luxury” oil by some, this antioxidant-rich oil is obtained from the kernels of the fruits of Marula tree. Marula oil offers antioxidants, hydrates the skin and is claimed to help restore a radiant tone. “

Y’all. These products are literally the same thing – both are 100% Marula Oil, but one is $60 less for the same size bottle. This one really feels like a no-brainer to me. Unless you’re just very brand loyal, I don’t see why anyone would pay $62 more for a product solely because of the name.

Other dupes:

All stock images are the property of the retailer (Drunk Elephant, Sephora, etc)

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2 comments on “Splurge vs Save: The Best Drunk Elephant Skincare Dupes

  1. I love protini but not the price tag! I’ve been using the Acura cream for a few weeks now and have to say I don’t mind it. It’s very thick though so I only use it as a night cream

    Hannah @ The Northern Writes

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